Mother of protester Nika Shakarami disputes Iran’s official story of her death


The mom of a 16-year-old Iranian woman has disputed official claims that her daughter fell to her death from a excessive constructing, saying the teenager was killed by blows to the top as half of the crackdown on anti-hijab protests roiling the nation.

Nasreen Shakarami additionally mentioned authorities stored her daughter Nika’s death a secret for 9 days after which snatched the physique from a morgue to bury her in a distant space, towards the household’s needs. The bereaved mom spoke in a video message Thursday to Radio Farda, the Persian-language arm of the U.S.-funded station Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Nika Shakarami has grow to be the newest icon of the protests, seen because the gravest risk to Iran’s ruling elites in years. Attempts by authorities in current days to painting the teenager’s death as an accident might sign concern that the incident might additional gasoline anger towards the federal government.

The protests, which enter their fourth week Saturday, have been sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini within the custody of the morality police. They had detained Amini for alleged violations of the nation’s strict Islamic costume code.

Amini was arrested on Sept. 13 in Tehran for “inappropriate apparel” for allegedly not sporting her hijab correctly. The authorities have mentioned she suffered a coronary heart assault after being taken to a station to be “educated.”

Her household has denied she had any coronary heart issues. Her father has mentioned she had bruises on her legs, and holds police chargeable for her death.

Young ladies have typically been main the protests, tearing off and defiantly waving their headscarves as they name for toppling the federal government.

The protests rapidly unfold to communities throughout Iran and have been met by a harsh authorities crackdown, together with beatings, arrests and killings of demonstrators, in addition to web disruptions.

Human rights teams estimate that dozens of protesters have been killed over the previous three weeks. On Thursday, the London-based group Amnesty International revealed its findings about what seems to be the one deadliest incident to date — within the metropolis of Zahedan on Sept. 30.

The report mentioned Iranian safety forces killed a minimum of 66 folks, together with youngsters, and wounded a whole lot, after firing reside rounds at protesters, bystanders and worshippers in a violent crackdown that day. Iranian authorities claimed the Zahedan violence concerned unnamed separatists. More than a dozen folks have been killed since then within the space, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, Nika Shakarami’s mom pushed again towards makes an attempt by officers to border her daughter’s death as an accident.

Mother says she died of blows to the top

In her video message, she mentioned that the forensics report confirmed that Nika had died from repeated blows to the top.

Nika’s physique was intact, however some of her tooth, bones in her face and half of the again of her cranium have been damaged, she mentioned. “The harm was to her head,” she mentioned. “Her physique was intact, legs and arms.”

Earlier this week, Iran’s police chief, Gen. Hossein Ashtari, claimed that the teenager had gone to a constructing “and fell from the higher ground at a time of gatherings.” He mentioned that “the autumn from that peak led to her death.”

Nasreen Shakarami mentioned her daughter left her dwelling in Tehran within the afternoon of Sept. 19 to affix anti-hijab protests. She mentioned she was in contact by telephone with Nika a number of occasions within the subsequent few hours, pleading with her to return dwelling. They final spoke earlier than midnight. “Then Nika’s cellular was off, after she and her associates have been shouting names of forces whereas they have been fleeing,” she mentioned.

The following morning, the household looked for Nika at police stations and prisons, however had no phrase of her whereabouts for 9 days. Authorities lastly handed over the physique on the tenth day and the household headed to the town of Khoramabad for burial, she mentioned. Authorities repeatedly demanded to take possession of the physique, which was within the meantime saved within the Khoramabad morgue.

Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad mentioned the teenager’s Telegram, WhatsApp and Instagram accounts have been deactivated someday on Sept. 20.

On the day of the deliberate funeral, the household discovered that the physique had been snatched from the morgue and was taken to a distant village for burial, underneath heavy safety, Nasreen Shakarami mentioned.

Since the affirmation of her death, Nika has emerged as one other icon of the protests, alongside Amini. A photograph of Nika, sporting a black T-shirt and sporting a trendy two-tone bob haircut and eyeliner, has been broadly circulated on social media.

Aunt and uncle have been arrested

Authorities arrested Nasreen Shakarami’s brother and sister. The sister, Atash, later mentioned on Iranian TV that her niece fell from a excessive constructing.

Nika’s mom mentioned she believes her siblings had been pressured to echo the official model.

Iran has a protracted historical past of broadcasting pressured confessions.

Also Friday, the official IRNA information company quoted the coroner’s workplace saying examinations discovered that Mahsa Amini died of cerebral hypoxia — during which oxygen provide to the mind decreases. It mentioned she suffered a number of organ failure however “her death was not led by blunt pressure trauma to the top, organs and important elements of the physique.”

It mentioned Amini suffered coronary heart arrhythmia, hypotension and loss of consciousness earlier than been taken to a hospital.

Amini’s household have beforehand disputed official accounts of their daughter’s death and its trigger whereas in police custody.

Iran denies safety forces killed 2nd teen

On Friday, Iranian authorities mentioned yet one more teenage protester dedicated suicide by falling off a roof.

However, social media studies and rights group Amnesty International have mentioned Sarina Esmaeilzadeh, 16, was killed by safety forces when she was struck with batons on the top throughout protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.

A lady cuts her hair throughout a protest towards the Islamic regime of Iran and the death of Mahsa Amini in entrance of the Iranian Embassy in Madrid on Thursday. (Juan Medina/Reuters)

The chief justice of Alborz province the place Esmaeilzadeh died mentioned a preliminary investigation confirmed her death was attributable to  suicide from a fall from the roof of a five-storey constructing, the semi-official ISNA information company mentioned.

Chief justice Hossein Fazeli Herikandi mentioned claims in opposition media about her death have been “lies.”

“Based on her mom’s account, Esmaeilzadeh had a historical past of suicide makes an attempt,” he mentioned. Police obtained a report of her death on Sept. 24, he mentioned.


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